Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Super Bowl most watched program ever

Posted by: under Vikings, Football on TV, Super Bowl, Vikings fans Updated: February 8, 2010 - 10:18 AM

The Super Bowl always has provided an extraordinary number of viewers. But it wasn’t the most-watched program in U.S. television history -- until Sunday.

The Saints’ 31-17 victory over Colts was watched by an estimated average of 106.5 million viewers on CBS, meaning it surpassed the final episode of M*A*S*H in 1983 (106 million) to become the most-watched program in television history according to Nielsen.

CBS’ coverage had a fast national household rating of 45.0 and a 68 share, up 7 percent from last year’s 42.0 rating and 64 share for Pittsburgh’s victory over Arizona.

Sunday’s game was the highest-rated Super Bowl in 14 years.

Locally, the game had a 51 rating and 75 share on WCCO (Ch. 4). That placed the Twin Cities 15th out of the 50-plus metered markets in the United States, an improvement from last season when the Steelers’ victory had a 43.4 rating and 67 share on NBC affiliate KARE (Ch. 11). That put Minneapolis-St. Paul 28th out of the 56 metered markets.

New Orleans was the top-rated market with a 56.3 rating and 82 share on Sunday. The rating is the percentage of the total population of televisions tuned to a particular prorgram; share is the percentage of televisions actually in use.

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